The Welsh Government’s school banding system is a “great success” and is here to stay, Education Minister Leighton Andrews said yesterday. This is from Wales Online…
Mr Andrews said there were no plans to scrap the controversial support system – which clusters Wales’ secondary schools into “bands” – despite growing criticism from teachers.
Parents and pupils were given fresh information on how their secondary schools are performing relative to others earlier this week.
It was the second time secondaries in Wales had been grouped into one of five bands, using a formula of comparable data designed to give a more “rounded” picture of school performance.
In the first of our two-part interview, Mr Andrews said this year’s banding results are proof the Welsh Government’s school improvement programme is beginning to bear fruit.
“Banding is a great success – 61 out of 79 schools in bands four and five have improved their performance in 2012 against 2011,” he said.
“There’s been a 5% improvement – in schools in bands four and five – in the percentage of young people getting five good GCSEs including English or Welsh and maths. That is a significant improvement in the number of young people who are getting good grades.
“The [banding] system is there to serve the interests of learners and I am pleased that our school improvement programme is now starting to deliver for learners.
“I think the banding system has allowed us to focus on the real challenges that exist in our schools system. I think it’s required some headteachers to focus on the areas where their schools are failing, which in some cases, means maths, in particular.”